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Back to Archives | Back to January 2010 Contents 

January 2010

Where do the good ideas come from? In this column, we offer our readers the opportunity to learn about — and benefit from — some of the cutting-edge technologies being implemented by law enforcement colleagues around the world.

Dolmen Allows Binghamton, New York, Police Department’s SWAT Team to Gain the Edge on Crime with the Tactical Response Armored Car

Dolmen Corp. offers a new class of vehicle known as the Tactical Response Armored Car (TRAC), which provides safety, versatility, and speed of response to officers. Built on a compact armored vehicle platform with tank-like, all-terrain tracks, the operator deploys the attachment needed for the situation whether it be an assault platform, breaching ram with wireless camera, grapple bucket, vehicle extraction tool, or custom option. The operator can swap out attachments as needed in minutes via quick change couplers, while a custom transport truck gives TRAC and its attachments the portability to quickly go where needed, speeding officer response time.

Approaching a crime scene is usually done in an unarmored car or van. If an armored carrier is used, officers make the final approach on foot. Crime scene reconnaissance and engagement is also hazardous.

“Most ballistic vests and shields are rated for handgun ammunition,” says Sergeant Dan Frair, SWAT team leader of the Binghamton, New York, Police Department, which has about 150 sworn officers. “The vests leave the face and lower body exposed, and the shields leave the lower body exposed. When rifle-rated shields and vest inserts are used, the added weight restricts mobility.”

“Many SWAT teams lack the ability to quickly and effectively enter through a second-floor opening,” says Sergeant Frair. “Some suspects have barricaded the first-floor doors to thwart entry by police. If they retreat to the second floor, they may booby-trap stairs or shoot at officers as they come up.”

TRAC is small enough to fit in corridors, freight elevators, and high-rise buildings but large enough to carry eight or more personnel. The vehicle’s assault platform, with level II, III, or IV armor plating, top, bottom, front, and side protection with ballistic glass, is one of its main features. The curved assault platform’s three large windows give officers an unobstructed view with armor protection, making direct line-of-sight assessment and response possible.

“To get a view into the crisis location without the TRAC, our team has had to approach behind hand-held ballistic shields, which provided limited protection for team members,” says Frair. “With the TRAC, our entire emergency action team can approach the crisis location and observe from behind significant ballistic protection and even make an emergency entry through a first- or second-floor opening if necessary.”

For more information, click here, and enter number 26.

Orange County Sheriff-Coroner Department Automates E-Mail Retention and eDiscovery Processes with Mimosa Systems’ Unified Archiving Solution

Mimosa Systems announces that the Orange County Sheriff-Coroner Department has automated its e-mail archiving and eDiscovery request processes with Mimosa NearPoint, which addresses critical customer requirements around archiving, eDiscovery, regulatory compliance, business continuity, and storage optimization in a unified solution. As a result, the large, multidepartment California law enforcement agency has reduced the time it takes for staff to respond to eDiscovery requests by 70 percent, improving operations and lowering cost.

The Orange County Sheriff-Coroner Department is a multifaceted law enforcement agency composed of approximately 4,000 staff members and over 800 reserve personnel. In addition to patrolling the unincorporated areas of Orange County, 12 cities in Orange County contract with the department to serve as those cities’ police departments. The department also provides security services for many agencies in Orange County including the Orange County Superior Court, John Wayne Airport, Orange County Transportation Authority, Social Services Agency, and Health Care Agency.

The Orange County Sheriff-Coroner Department processes numerous requests for information in support of internal affairs, court cases, and public and internal investigations. Because much of the department’s communications are performed via e-mail, these eDiscovery requests were putting an increasing strain on IT administrators. Because they didn’t have an e-mail archiving solution in place, the Sheriff’s Department was performing all of its e-mail discovery manually. A typical request could take as much as 100 man hours to complete as researchers comb through e-mails, line by line searching for specific words, phrases, or content.

“We were using an Outlook search tool that could find e-mails based on a phrase or word, but looking through our server data as well as searching through each employee’s local PST file, custodian by custodian, was taking an exorbitant amount of time,” said Doug Blackburn, systems programmer analyst, Orange County Sheriff-Coroner Department. “After finding and implementing the comprehensive e-mail archiving solution from Mimosa, now the eDiscovery search process is reduced substantially. The system looks through multiple accounts at the same time and flags items of interest—all with less manpower.”

Mimosa NearPoint meets the department’s eDiscovery needs without adding any impact to the performance of its exchange server. Key features of value to the Orange County Sheriff-Coroner Department include:

  • Next-generation architecture: Its unique architecture does not require journaling or any agents on either the exchange server or user desktops.

  • Efficient eDiscovery: Features include individual item-level legal holds, conversation and proximity analysis, and an intuitive search within a search—while demonstrating chain of custody as archived content moves through the eDiscovery workflow.

  • Continuous capture and smart extraction of exchange data: When an eDiscovery or disclosure request is made, Mimosa NearPoint quickly identifies relevant content, including all metadata, e-mails, folders, deletions, calendars, contacts, notes, and tasks.■

For more information, click here, and enter number 28.



From The Police Chief, vol. LXXVII, no. 1, January 2010. Copyright held by the International Association of Chiefs of Police, 515 North Washington Street, Alexandria, VA 22314 USA.

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